Every single Monday until the NBA Finals are complete, I’ll be giving you a recap of the most important things from the past NBA week. I’ll give you my power rankings for the top ten teams in the league and name a couple of players with surprising performances. Finally, I will go through some of the best and worst moments from the past week.
Week 3 Power Rankings
- Golden State Warriors (8-3) // Previously #1
- Boston Celtics (9-2) // Previously #2
- Houston Rockets (8-3) // Previously #3
- Minnesota Timberwolves (7-3) // Previously Unranked
- New Orleans Pelicans (5-5) // Previously Unranked
- Detroit Pistons (7-3) // Previously #9
- Portland Trail Blazers (6-4) // Previously Unranked
- Oklahoma City Thunder (4-5) // Previously Unranked
- Philadelphia 76ers (5-4) // Previously Unranked
- Los Angeles Clippers (5-4) // Previously #4
(Stats are from last weeks games only)
- James Harden (38.7 Points, 3.3 Rebounds, 11 Assists, 1 Steals, 0 Blocks)
- T.J. Warren (20.6 Points, 7.6 Rebounds, 0.6 Assists, 0.6 Steals, 1.2 Blocks)
- Donovan Mitchell (23.3 Points, 4.3 Rebounds, 2.3 Assists, 1 Steals, 0.7 Blocks)
- Kristaps Porzingis (32 Points, 6.7 Rebounds, 1.3 Assists, 0.3 Steals, 3.3 Blocks)
- Tyreke Evans (26 Points, 2.3 Rebounds, 3.3 Assists, 1 Steals, 0 Blocks)
1. Kristaps Porzingis
Last week, the Knicks went 2-1, continuing their surprisingly above average season. After trading Carmelo Anthony to the Thunder for some mediocre role players, nobody was expecting this big of a jump from Kristaps and the Knicks. Porzingis scored more than 35 points in back to back games and will almost certainly be an all-star this year.
2. Lonzo Ball and Jason Kidd Similarities
To this day, Lonzo Ball stands as one of the most polarizing figures in the NBA. Some think he’s a bonafide superstar and will soon be one of the greatest playmakers of all-time. Others think he’s actually not aggressive enough, will never be a good enough shooter to score more than 15 points a game, and are still annoyed by his father. CBS Sports saw some eery similarities between Lonzo Ball’s and Jason Kidd’s first ten games. If Ball turns out to be anything like Kidd, he will surely silence his critics.
3. James Harden
Runner-up MVP, James Harden is known for his volume scoring. To my surprise, however, he reached a new career high last week scoring 56 points to go along with 13 assists. For most players, that would be an unbelievable feat; For Harden, however, I was surprised he hadn’t done better in the past.
In this segment, I am building off of “The Starters” from NBATV. Every Friday, they have a segment called, “Worst of the Week,” where they basically shame a certain part of the NBA, whether that be a player, a coach, an idea, or even an entire team. Go check them out here.
1. The Cleveland Cavaliers Suck (Especially Dwyane Wade)
While some may think this is a positive thing, the Cleveland Cavaliers are having a nightmare of a season so far. Anyone can take a look at their record and realize that they’re underperforming, so I’m going to go into the specifics. To start, Dwyane Wade publicly let his fans know that he wouldn’t be scoring 20 points per game this season. Whether that’s true or not, it’s not something you should be telling your fans as an NBA player no matter what role you play on the team. Secondly, in losses to the Nets and Knicks (both below average NBA teams), the Cavs seemed uninterested in the final minutes, even going as far as leaving the court before the final buzzer. It’s really tough for me to formulate reasoning for their struggles. One side of me believes Lebron’s reign is finally over; The other side is still confident we’ll be seeing the Warriors and Cavs in the finals come July.
2. The Sacramento Kings are Boring
As you should already know, I’m a diehard Sacramento Kings fan and try my hardest to watch all 48 minutes of every game they play. This season has been rough though. I’m used to a losing product on the floor, but this season has been downright embarrassing. With seven straight losses and no real improvement since the beginning of the season, it’s been really hard to watch.
3. The Trail Blazers Don’t Play Defense
Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic; Three great offensive players who don’t play a lick of defense. Watching their game against the Lakers on Thursday made me realize that they’re just a little bit of defense from being one of the top teams in the league. Like the Cavaliers, they seem uninterested on that side of the floor, ruining their efforts on offense.